“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it...For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:5-8
As I continue on further and further with this Sabbath rest experiment, I am becoming more and more convinced that the Sabbath in the eyes of the Lord has very little to do with physical rest and sleep. My reasoning of course has only been generated from the data I have collected these past three week, but since the genesis of this experiment I have been led to sleep less on my designated Sabbath days days and thus my assumption. Additionally, my first Sunday I had to deal with an increased number of rogue chickens in my garden, the second Sunday I had to cook a special breakfast before church AND still do all of my chores plus my husband and son's chores since they was out of town, and this Sunday I had to deal with no running water in our main house which of course meant a lot more work to just keep up with the status quo of life.
But, then again that is just my assumption and so to the Word I went for a bit more "real" and "true" data add to the collective pot of Sabbath experiment observations.
As I was looking through a variety of different verse cross-references today, I came upon the above verses that I know I have have read, but must have never taken the time to really consider them. I decided to look up some of the Greek meanings of these words because the message just seemed a bit vague to me and I really wanted to know how they related to the Sabbath in their original context.
Here are the key words and their meanings:
“esteems” - to simply decide in your mind that something is going to be one way or the other
“convinced” - since this word is used in a continuous/repetitive form, it means to be completely assured to the point that every time to you think about the subject at hand you agree to the same point you had set on that subject before – no wavering
“observes” - this word is also in the from of a continuous/repetitive action and therefore means to go through the mental exercise of setting your mind to a certain way of thinking about something and then making it a repetitive process of thinking and subsequently setting your mind toward a specific direction or toward a specific goal
“lives” - all encompassing life or the act of being alive, life for every person over and over again from the beginning to the ending of time
“dies” - all encompassing death with the emphasis being on the finality of the body, death for every person over and over again from the beginning to the ending of time
“to the Lord” - actually in the original text the words “to the” are not included, just the word “Lord”, but then all of the words that proceed this phrase are words indicating an action onto something and therefore to make the text easier to read, the “to the” is added to the original Greek
So, if we were to put all of the above context back into a format that charts out the verses with their end results while also including the expanded meanings listed above, here is what we get:
IF a person decides a particular day will be a special day set apart for the Lord,
THEN that day in her life will be a special day set apart for the Lord.
IF a person decides a particular day will be just like any other day,
THEN that day will be an ordinary day for ordinary things.
FOR BOTH decisions, the person deciding on the purpose of the day needs to determine the purpose of the day without wavering or changing her mind half-way, for that would be going back on the decision she made before God – an oath per se. But no two people need to be held to the decisions of the other on which day is "special" for them before the Lord.
IF a person has set her mind to do special things on a certain day for God,
THEN she needs to mentally keep those things at the forefront of her mind and make certain those things come to fruition.
IF a person has set her mind to not do anything special on a certain day for God,
THEN she does not need to keep any observances because she has none to keep.
It must be understood that both a person's life and death are controlled by the Lord. In reality everyone's life and death are controlled by the Lord. Also, nothing falls into the place where a person is outside the scope of God. And for that person who has committed her life to the Lord, everything in life and death are in essence done for the Lord whether or not a day was designated as special to the Lord or not.
I guess as I wrap up my ponderings once again on this Sabbath experiment day I realize all the more how important each day I live before the Lord is - not just the Sabbath days that have been specifically "set apart" for Him. Plus I am realizing all the more how much more mindful I need to be regarding what I choose to put into each moment of each day.
Sabbath or not, each day is precious to God and each day we live before the Lord and we need to be just as ready to die before as live before the Lord because it is for Him we do everything in our day until we come to a point where our days come to an end.